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Lexington City Council Votes To Ban No-Knock Search Warrants

Stu Johnson

Lexington City Council has voted ten-to-five to ban no knock search warrants by police.  The decision came after more than 30 citizens spoke, many offering emotional comments, and most all pleading for a complete ban.  Their testimony followed a proposed alternative to prohibit no knocks for confiscation of evidence.

Reva Russell English was first in a long line of speakers opposing that option. “With this eleventh hour bait-and-switch, those of you who would support it.  I beg all of you not to.  It is unfair.  It is undemocratic and you disrespect my black neighbors.  You disrespect the rest of us.  You disrespect yourself, your office, and the democratic process.  Don’t do it,” said Russell English. 

While Police Chief Lawrence Weathers has said there are rare occasions when no knocks are appropriate, he told Council it’s their decision.   “If banning no-knocks is what you want, my goal will still be to maintain the life and safety of everybody on both sides of that door,” said Weathers. 

After well over an hour of public comment, the Council voted down the replacement ordinance 8-to-7, which led to the final ten-to-five vote for an all-out ban of no-knock warrants. 

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton offered comments following the Council vote to ban no-knock warrants:


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